Indian Centaur Comics: Ashwaraj

Ashwraj #1

 

“Ashwaraj” (Raj Comics) is a series of 31 Indian Hindi language comic books starring the titular superhero prince who shape-shifts into a mighty centaur whenever the violent need calls for it. (The series is available for download free here.) Why the good prince has a green centaur coat is beyond me. Maybe the ink color “read” better to the printers. It’s hard to tell.

 

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Ashwaraj in AntKall #4

The character appears again in a vastly artistically improved rendition in a second brief (4 issues) series, “AntKaal” or “Kaal”. (Download the series here.) Unfortunately, featuring Ashwaraj on 3 of the 4 covers of the series is just a ploy to get readers to spring for the books. The character appears on only two pages in issue #3 (that show his demise in ancient times) and reappears in issue #4 fully armored for a few pages. Disappointing, even if I don’t understand what the hell is happening in the series.

 

Aswaraj in Kaal #1

 

Ashwaraj in Kaal #3

Of note in these comic series is just how many manimal characters appear. There are sileni, horse-headed sileni types, demons, etc. The comics are rich with odd villains and the second series of books is chock full of just about all the popular heroes from the Raj Comics roster. It is interesting to see how much the comics are influenced by American comics and yet retain a very distinctly Indian character. Raj Comics has started publishing comics in English, but these issues are too old for that to happen now.

 

Ashwaraj, Prince Taur

 

 

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August 1, 2014 · 1:19 PM

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